Scott Mlyn | CNBC
U.S. stock indexes rose on Friday as the latest retail sales data topped economists’ expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 80 points, or 0.23%. The S&P 500 added 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3%.
June retail and food service sales rose 0.6%, while economists surveyed by the Dow Jones had expected a 0.4% decline. Excluding autos, those sales jumped 1.3%, beating economists’ estimate of a 0.4% gain.
Cyclical stocks tied to the economic recovery saw gains in early morning trading. A stabilization in bond yields aided this move with the 10-year Treasury yield climbing back up above 1.30%.
“While stock market valuations appear lofty, the global economic recovery continues to surge. Strong GDP and earnings growth, supportive fiscal and monetary policy, and a recovering labor market all support an optimistic view on stocks for the remainder of the year,” said Greg Marcus, UBS Private Wealth Management managing director.
Bank of America led gains in bank stocks in premarket trading. Boeing shares edged higher. Airlines, casinos, and energy stocks inched into the green.
The iShares Russell 2000 ETF, containing small cap shares more reliant on the U.S. economy, gained in premarket trading.
Live Nation’s stock rose in the premarket after Goldman said the stock can rally nearly 40% as concerts return.
Shares of Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian each increased in early morning trading after Canada announced it would allow cruise ships to resume operations in its waters starting Nov. 1, sooner than planned. Previously, the Canadian government extended its cruise ban until the end of February 2022.
The moves in recovery-related stocks came even amid concerns about ultra-infectious variants of the coronavirus. Los Angeles County announced Thursday it would restore an indoor mask mandate, including for fully-vaccinated people, due to a rapid and sustained increase in Covid-19 cases.
Investors also digested strong earnings results from the first major week of second-quarter reports. Though some of the nation’s largest companies posted healthy profits and revenues amid the economic recovery, the reaction in the stock market has so far been muted.
Morgan Stanley’s second-quarter earnings report, for example, topped analysts’ expectations Thursday, yet its shares closed just 0.18% higher.
For18 S&P 500 companies that beat analyst estimates for second-quarter earnings this week, the average earnings-per-share result was 18% higher than expected. But those companies saw their shares fall 0.58% on average after reporting.
The soft moves in reaction to corporate earnings have contributed to a lackluster week for the S&P 500, which dipped 0.2% on the week as of Thursday’s close.
Much of the market’s upward pressure over the last week has come from a handful of mega-cap internet and communications stocks. Apple, Netflix, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft are all up this week.
Wall Street may be checking its optimism in the aftermath of the recent hot consumer price index inflation report and commentary from both Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the pace of price appreciation in the near term.
Yellen, who spoke to CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday, said she predicts prices could continue to rise for several more months before cooling off.
“I’m not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon. But I think over the medium term, we’ll see inflation decline back toward normal levels,” she said. “But, of course, we have to keep a careful eye on it.”
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